President Sirleaf Receives Letters of Credence from Ambassadors of Sweden, Mali and The Netherlands

Thursday, 13th July 2017
President Sirleaf in hand shke with   Sweden Ambassador,  H. E Ingrid Wetterqvist.
President Sirleaf in hand shke with Sweden Ambassador, H. E Ingrid Wetterqvist.
Photo Credit: Mr. Ousman Diallo-EXECUTIVE MANSION
Monrovia, Liberia: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has received Letters of Credence from the Ambassadors of the Kingdoms of Sweden cum The Netherlands and Mali respectively. Earlier, she acknowledged Liberia’s bilateral relations with the Kingdom of Sweden over the years, which saw cooperation in many critical areas of national development. 
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf performed the ceremony on Thursday, July 13, 2017 in the Cabinet Room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, when she received the Letter of Credence from new the Swedish Envoy to Liberia. 
The Liberian leader said that diplomatic relations between Liberia and the Kingdom of Sweden can be traced as far back as beyond the Liberia American Swedish Mining in the 1960s. 
She said since her ascendancy to from Monday, January 16, 2006, the Kingdom of Sweden has been of significant help to the development processes of Liberia, particularly so in the rehabilitation of “Feeder as well as Farm to Market Roads, through the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works in Bong, Lofa and Nimba counties. 
Similarly, President Sirleaf acknowledged the Kingdom of Sweden for its assistance in sustaining the peace following 14 years of civil war and through its partnership with Liberia in the area of gender and development. However, she was quick to add that despite these contributions to the development of Liberia, one key area that Liberia was still looking up to Sweden’s assistance for was in the area of sustaining the peace and security that the nation has enjoyed since 2003. 
She reiterated that the Kingdom of Sweden’s assistance will be seriously needed to support the October 10, 2017 elections, which according to her, is very critical to determining the future peace and stability of the Liberian nation.
President Sirleaf craved Sweden intervention to draw up plan for the country’s next assistance to Liberia and other African nations with emphasis on the agricultural sector. 
Earlier, the Swedish Ambassador to Liberia, Ingrid  Wetterqvist said she was pleased to be selected by her government to serve as envoy to Liberia, because according to her, Liberia and Sweden enjoy “excellent and long standing bilateral relations, based on friendship and mutual understanding.
She noted that both Liberia and Sweden share the same interest to promote international peace and stability; and they continues to stand firm in their adherence to the United Nations Charter; and also shared common interests to work together toward enhanced development in the world. 
Also presenting Letter of Credence was Ambassador Madam Irene Henriette Nassir of Mali. She lauded President Sirleaf and the people of Liberia for their long diplomatic ties with the Government and people of Mali. 
“Liberia and Mali have come a long way in our bilateral relations,” the Malian Envoy noted. She commended President Sirleaf and the people of Liberia for their warm reception and cooperation shown to citizens of Mali residing in Liberia. 
In response, President Sirleaf recalled that bilateral relations between Liberia and Mali especially during the Liberian civil crisis when Mali was a part an ECOWAS Regional Force, which deployed troops in Liberia to save the nation from total destruction. 
The Liberia leader then noted that during the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak, the President of Mali was the first in the West African sub-region to visit and console the Liberian nation. 
In a related development, President Sirleaf received the Letter of Credence of the new Ambassador of The Netherlands to Liberia - who commended the Government and people of Liberia for making laudable progress since end of the Liberian civil war in 2003. “You have shown your resilience through successive peaceful elections; and with this, the Netherlands will of course continue to monitor the upcoming elections very closely, and hope that the elections will further strengthen the democratic credentials, which the country has built under your strong leadership,” he said. 
Speaking, President Sirleaf underscored the bilateral and diplomatic ties as well as trade and commerce between Liberia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which started in the 14th Century, when a Dutch Ship called “The White Dove” explored the territorial waters of Liberia - trading with local Liberians in Malaguetta Pepper and different fruits from the Liberian Coast through barter with Dutch sailors. 
However, she noted that the trade and commerce between native Liberians and the Dutch sailors was hampered by the 1884 Berlin Conference in, which threatened this trade. Despite that, she said relations between Liberia and the Netherlands remain firm. 
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf also held discussions with members of the Liberian-American Deaf Association (LADA) aimed at enhancing their activities in Liberia. Making the presentation on behalf of the Association, Madam Olina Bailey Stevenson, thanked President Sirleaf for according them audience. She told President Sirleaf that the Association was established 5 years ago to particularly empower their colleagues back in Liberia. 
Mrs. Stevenson informed President Sirleaf that they were in Liberia to appeal to the Liberian Government to establish Vocational Technical Schools for the Deaf and speech-impaired Liberians to train, empower and strengthen their capacity to contribute meaningfully to society. 
The delegates most of whom are Liberians with Master’s degrees from various Universities in the United States in different disciplines expressed their wiliness to train and empower Liberians who are deaf and speech-impaired at different levels. 
Speaking earlier, Christopher Teddy Jaffah, Vice President of LADA thanked President Sirleaf for the opportunity given to speak with her. He said the Association has been providing training for members of the deaf and speech-impaired across the country for the past two weeks including donation of manuals, books among others to deaf and speech-impaired individuals. 
In response, President Sirleaf commended members of the Association for the visit and said she was elated about their courage and determination to learn despite their conditions. 
She pledged to hold a conversation with the Minister of Education regarding the Association and how government can be a help in enhancing their capacities at different levels. She then assured her government’s continued commitment to all Liberians including LADA. 
Members of the delegation included Breatice Gbain, Wubu Hendricks, Abdullah Jani, Christopher Jaffah and Olina Bailey Stevenson, among others.